Maryland’s first weekend of deer season brings higher harvest

30 November 2023- Hunters reported harvesting 10,864 deer  on the opening weekend of the 2023 Maryland firearm season from Nov. 25-26, according to data collected by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The overall deer harvest was 7% higher than last year’s official opening weekend harvest of 10,159 deer. 

The harvest total included 5,617 antlered and 4,880 antlerless white-tailed deer, and 193 antlered and 174 antlerless sika deer. The two-week deer firearm season runs through Dec. 9.

“Cooler temperatures prevailed for the firearm season opener and hunters took advantage of the cooler weather to put additional venison in the freezer,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Karina Stonesifer said. “Firearms season remains our most popular deer season and is vital to managing the state’s healthy deer population. There is still plenty of great hunting left in the season and is a great opportunity to mentor a new hunter.”

Hunters harvested 2,293 deer on the Sunday of the opening weekend. The Sunday harvest represented more than 20% of the total for the two days, despite not being open in all counties.

Hunters in Region A, which includes Allegany, Garrett, and western Washington counties, harvested 1,323 antlered deer, a 16% increase. Hunters in Region B, comprising the rest of the state, harvested 4,487 antlered and 5,054 antlerless deer. The antlered harvest was up 9% while the antlerless harvest increased 4% from last year in the region.

Junior hunters harvested 2,225 deer during the Junior Deer Hunt Days Nov. 11-12. The harvest was 8% higher than the official harvest of 2,063 last year. Juniors registered 1,531 antlered and 694 antlerless deer.

Unofficial results by county are as follows:

CountyJunior totalJunior totalOpening Weekend of Firearms Season
SaturdaySatudaySundaySundayWeekend Total
AntleredAntlerlessJunior TotalAntleredAntlerlessTotalAntleredAntlerlessTotal
Statewide total1,5316942,2254,6323,9398,5711,1781,1152,29310,864